Powering Through the Pandemic With Positivity

June 5, 2020
T&D World is celebrating community heroes who are going above and beyond the call of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet Jake Dukett, a volunteer deputy fire chief and safety supervisor for Ameren Illinois.

Jake Dukett is familiar with working overtime. His passion for community service has energized him through 20 years of back-to-back shifts as an Electric and Natural Gas Operations Safety Supervisor with Ameren Illinois and as a volunteer firefighter. 

Today more than 7,000 people spread throughout 50 square miles just outside of Springfield, Illinois, are relying on Jake and his expertise to help manage the spread of COVID-19 in their region. As Deputy Chief of Operations for the Sherman Fire Protection District, he helps distribute COVID-19 communications to northern Sangamon County through the county's Incident Support Team.

"For about two weeks it was pretty hectic. Every night we met with the region’s other fire department leaders at the public health building in Springfield to write our portion of the county's COVID-19 plan," Jake says. "Now things have calmed down and we're just in a monitoring phase."

Jake's training as an emergency medical technician and in incident management has helped prepare him for this COVID-19 pandemic.

"Sherman Fire Protection wants to be the best and has a very high standard of training," Jake says. "We train very aggressively, and we operate that way too, the same as full-time firefighters."

So far, the hardest part of the COVID-19 pandemic for Jake has been training with his team remotely. They are creating alternatives to their weekly in-person training sessions to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. They have more time now to train because of lower emergency call volume.

"Without a doubt the community's willingness to follow the stay-at-home orders has played a huge role in keeping everyone as safe as possible from COVID-19," he adds.

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